Helena may now be part of a bigger Torus family but our pledge to you, our tenants, has always remained the same – to provide quality homes, excellent services and thriving communities.

During the year we have faced challenges and adapted to change together. We have supported hundreds of people into work, helped many more on low incomes to manage their money better and provided a range of housing solutions for those looking to rent and buy.

As we look ahead, stability and certainty will be found in the everyday. Our vans, uniforms and websites will start to look different but we are going to be one team and you will see the same familiar faces visiting homes across St Helens and Warrington to carry out repairs, complete inspections or provide specialised support.

Being part of Torus simply allows us to do even more for you, your family and your neighbourhood.

This annual report highlights some of the things we have achieved in 2016/17, and looks forward to the questions and opportunities that 2017/18 will present.

Rob Young

Rob Young
Group Chief Executive

What’s new this year?

Our objective: Helping you get more from our website

47% of customers now have a Helena online account, up from 33% on last year.

Now you can:

Did you know:

Homes

Maintaining and repairing homes

We are pleased to say that 100% of our homes now meet the Government’s Decent Homes Standard.

Here’s an idea of how much we invest in maintaining our homes:

Routine maintenance spend £4,781,000 (16/17) & Planned maintenance spend £4,301,000 (16/17)

Routine, planned and major repair costs

The repair cost for each property across Helena has decreased to £1,295 and is above the sector average of £1,210. By standardising our repairs services and introducing more efficiencies we hope to lower this figure to £1,063 by 2019/20.

Over the past year we installed

Kitchens

104

Kitchens

Bathrooms

129

Bathrooms

Central Heating Systems

258

Central Heating Systems

Major adaptations

236

Major adaptations were made to help people with disabilities

Local Council funding

£912k

Was spent on adaptations £364k of this was funded by the local Council

And we have built

  • New homes built

    64

    New homes

Our repairs results

  • Report and Book Repairs

    99.1%

    Of emergency repairs are completed within target time

  • Report and Book Repairs

    98.7%

    Of responsive repairs completed within target time

  • gas safety certificate

    99.98%

    Of homes have a valid gas safety certificate. We take legal action against those properties we cannot access as your safety is one of our top priorities

  • tenants satisfied

    91.4%

    Tenants satisfied with overall quality of their home

You said, we did

Our STAR survey results highlighted a difference in the delivery of repairs and maintenance across St Helens and Warrington.

Following a consultation, tenants from Helena and Golden Gates Housing Trust can now expect an identical service with standardised target response rates for Emergency Repairs, Responsive Repairs and Major Repairs along with flexible 4 hour appointment slots.

You said:

We needed to provide some consistency of delivery for repairs and maintenance in Warrington and St Helens.

We did:

We have now standardised our service offer with tenants at both GGHT and Helena receiving identical response and repairs times.

Money

Making the most of your rent

Ever wondered what your rent pays for? We monitor every pound we spend across all our activities. Here’s how it all adds up:

  • Average Rent

    £95.28

    Average social rent for a 3 bedroom property

Making your money go further

Big help for those big benefit changes

Services

104,403 calls were taken in 2016/17

Our customer service centre, One Call, deals with an average of 414 calls per day.

We know we don’t always get it right, that’s why we react and respond to every complaint we receive. Here’s how we’re doing:

Complaints completed in time

Management voids

These are empty properties that are to be re-let as soon as possible after remedial works and safety checks have been completed. Below shows the number of management voids as at 31st March for each year.

Management Voids

108 against a target of 125

Non-management voids

These are properties which are awaiting disposal, sale, demolition or undergoing significant works during which period they are not available for letting. They can also include properties undergoing conversion. Below shows the number of non-management voids as at 31st March for each year.

Non Management Voids

170 against a target of 160

Neighbourhoods

Places you can be proud to live

The safety and appearance of our neighbourhoods is a top concern for our customers. Along with rent, it’s one of ours too. Here are just some of the ways we’ve tried to improve our places:

Employment

Working hard to get you a job

Helping to create work and training and employment opportunities continues to be a big focus for us.

Our 2020 Vision

We’re not just here to build and manage homes

The Torus Group are committed to regenerating communities, creating opportunities and improving peoples’ lives both now and in the future. Here are some of the things we aim to achieve:

During 2017/18 all support services will be provided by the Torus Group

Teams have been brought together to contribute to the efficiency targets across the Group. Efficiency plans are in place for 2016/17 and beyond to achieve the following impact on the net profit position of the Group as at 2019/20:

Group £mGGHT £mHelena £m
Opening net profit5.18(2.09)7.27
Performance 2015/16 and 2016/170.340.130.21
Standardisation of unit costs and lifecycles re component renewals2.702.340.36
Management costs and transformation savings4.452.422.03
Pay and pensions1.760.321.44
Non Social Housing and Discretionary services1.461.130.33
Gift aid from commercial subsidiary0.500.250.25
Revenue funded repair costs2.551.281.27
VAT shelter payments to Warrington BC0.700.70-
Capitalisation policy0.88-0.88
Other (including debt re-profiling interest savings)3.56(0.29)3.85
Rents0.240.24-
Bad Debt Provision & Void loss0.820.330.49
Development(0.75)(0.30)(0.45)
Land Banking(0.19)-(0.19)
Capital expenditure- IT and vehicle fleet0.060.040.02
Interest receivable(0.19)(0.03)(0.16)
RTBs(0.18)(0.10)(0.08)
Total Efficiencies18.718.4610.25
Closing Net Profit23.896.3717.52

Your Thoughts

Your feedback is really important to us

If you have any thoughts or comments about our annual report, please let us know:

Email: annualreport@helenapartnerships.co.uk
Facebook: The Helena Community
Twitter: @HelenaPartnersh

Have your say

Even if you’re short on time you can help us improve what we do and how we do it. Join our Facebook group Torus Talk, and become part of our online community, complete quick surveys and be part of the conversation. Find out more:

Facebook: www.facebook.com/groups/TorusTalk
Email: getinvolved@wearetorus.co.uk